The new owners of the mansion say they found a safe belonging to the drug lord in the home – but someone stole it

By Char Adams
Updated January 20, 2016 06:00 PM
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Credit: Manny Hernandez/Getty Images

The Miami Beach mansion once owned by notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar has been reduced to rubble – and it’s new owners couldn’t be happier.

“I’m very excited to see the house of the devil disappearing right before our eyes,” Christian de Berdouare told the Associated Press. “This was the biggest criminal in the history of the world. I would like to be associated with something more uplifting, but nevertheless, it is a part of the city.”

It is unknown whether Escobar ever actually lived in the pink, four-bedroom mansion, but the “King of Cocaine” and his henchmen are believed to have used the residence as a hideout, the AP reports.

The homeowners said the drug kingpin and his crew left something behind: a safe.

“Before we even got a chance to remove it, it was stolen,” De Berdouare’s wife, Jennifer Valoppi, said.

The home, a vestige of the violent drug wars that plagued Miami, Florida, in the 1980s, was razed on Tuesday.

De Berdouare, 59, and Valoppi said they didn’t know about the property’s history before they bought it from a private owner in 2014 for about $9 million, the AP reports.

But, after learning of its past use, Valoppi insisted on having the home blessed by a Catholic priest.

“A lot of people forget what life was like in Miami in the 1980s, when people were literally doing cocaine out in the open in bars and no one wanted to go to South Beach at all and there were shootouts in the street,”Valoppi said.

Now, with the mansion gone De Berdouare, founder of Chicken Kitchen, and his wife have big plans for the property.

De Berdouare said he plans to build a modern mansion with eight bedrooms, at least one pool and a movie theater, he told ABC News.

He added that he expects the property value to grow to $40 million – “I’m an entrepreneur he said.”

The U.S. government seized the mansion in 1987. The home was built in 1948 on the Biscayne Bay shores, according to the AP.

Escobar died in a shootout with Colombian police in 1993.